The 2nd half of the course, however, is the part I would really like to preview so I can anticipate the 1,500 feet of climbing that we’ll be doing during miles 30-56. We rode all the way through the base from the San Diego entrance to the San Clemente exit, which is a part of Orange County. It felt pretty cool to ride to another county! We rode a few miles in San Clemente to make sure we got to 35 miles and then turned around and headed home. On the way home I focused more on getting aero and picked up the pace. We had a nice tailwind coming home so the way back was much faster.

More Than Halfway Finished!

A couple of things that I noticed about this route – there was quite a strong headwind going out and there was a gradual incline as well that I hadn’t anticipated. From what I had read, the first half is quite fast and usually the headwind is on the way back, so I was surprised about that. My effort level overall on this ride was medium. I took it easy for the first 20 miles or so and then picked up the pace for about 30 miles and then eased back into the last 15-20 miles. I had a pretty large dinner/dessert Friday night and a bagel right before the ride, so I didn’t feel the need to eat a lot of calories (not sure if that actually matters but it seemed right at the time!). I had 3 water bottles with 200 calories of CarboPro and Nuun plus 2 Stinger Waffles during the entire ride, for a total of 940 calories over the course of just over 4 hours. The thing that surprised me the most about this ride was that when we finished, I definitely felt like I could keep going. I remember the first time that I rode 40 miles I felt more tired than this ride (that 40 miler was through a bunch of hills however!). My overall pace was just about the same (a few seconds per mile slower actually) as last week’s 67 miler with 2,500 feet of climbing – so that shows you that my effort level was definitely less this week. My average HR was also down to 140 (zone 1 for me) on this ride compared to 153 last week (low zone 2).

As soon as we got off the bike we changed into running clothes and ran 5 miles.We felt really good and surprisingly completed it at a 8:38 pace! If only I feel this good during the run on race day (and can maintain it for 8 more miles…).  My recovery for this brick was also better. After a big lunch, I relaxed on the couch and then took an hour and forty-five minute nap, then was in bed again by 9:30 for another 9+ hours of sleep before Sunday’s 7 a.m. wake-up call. Sunday’s workouts were much better than last Sunday’s, most likely due to a combination of less hills and more sleep.

Do you find it helpful to pre-ride the course before your race? Have you ever not been allowed to pre-ride? How do you familiarize yourself with a course before a race?

Reader Interactions


  1. Beth

    Sounds like an awesome ride! I haven’t gotten to 70 miles yet but I am itching to get in some longer miles. My half is next month and starting to freak me out. I wish I could ride the course but it is in Vegas so I will have to settle for driving it the day before the race.

Leave a Reply